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Sleep Apnea

Rajiv M. Joseph, MD, PhD, FAAN -  - Board Certified in Neurology

Rajiv M. Joseph, MD, PhD, FAAN

Board Certified in Neurology & Sleep Medicine located in Plano, TX

Approximately 22 million Americans live with sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when your soft palate relaxes while you sleep and blocks your airway, but sleep experts estimate that up to 80% of sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed. If you snore and suffer from daytime sleepiness, you should make an appointment with Rajiv Joseph, MD, PhD, FAAN, at his sleep center in Plano, Texas. He provides sleep studies and other diagnostic tests to identify sleep apnea and deliver effective treatments. Call Rajiv Joseph MD PA or make an appointment online today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where your soft palate, tongue, or other soft tissues in your mouth or top of your throat relax and descend into your airway, cutting off your breath while you sleep. Your body responds with a snorting snore that clears your airway and temporarily wakes you. You may have infrequent episodes of apnea, or you may have 30-50 disruptions per hour every night.

Snoring is the most prevalent symptom of sleep apnea. However, you may not be aware of your snoring or waking up throughout the night. Other symptoms include daytime fatigue, irritability, and indecisiveness.

Additionally, frequently disrupted sleep and sleep apnea increase your risk of severe health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. You may also develop insomnia from frequent periods of wakefulness.

What causes sleep apnea?

Many factors contribute to sleep apnea, including:

  • Obesity
  • Large tonsils, adenoids, and uvula
  • Endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Neuromuscular disorders such as stroke and myotonic sclerosis
  • Heart and kidney failure

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with a board-certified sleep medicine specialist like Dr. Joseph for accurate diagnosis and customized treatment.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Dr. Joseph diagnoses sleep apnea with a comprehensive consultation and a series of diagnostic tests. He uses sleep studies to understand your condition, offering both in-office and at-home sleep study options depending on your symptoms.

One of the most common sleep studies is the polysomnogram (PSG). The test measures your brain activity, movement, and respiration while you sleep. He may also perform a maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT) to gauge your risk of falling asleep during the day and determine if your sleep apnea interferes with your ability to drive or operate machinery.

If Dr. Joseph prescribes a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) device, you will have a CPAP titration analysis test to calibrate the CPAP settings to meet your needs.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Dr. Joseph provides a variety of treatments for sleep apnea. He may encourage you to lose weight in addition to prescribing a mouthguard or CPAP machine. Mouthguards hold your jaw in a forward position while you sleep to prevent your soft tissue from relaxing into your airway. A CPAP machine sends a steady stream of oxygen into your lungs throughout the night, which relieves your symptoms and helps you sleep through the night.

If you’re concerned about sleep apnea or if snoring is keeping you and your family awake, call Dr. Joseph or make an appointment online today.